Thursday, February 26, 2009

"There are never enough, 'I Love Yous'"

- Lenny Bruce

As soon as you can, tell someone that you care deeply about that you love them.

You may never again have that chance.

Friday, February 13, 2009



I tend to leave these plastic containers, Saran-wrapped, and/or tin-foiled-and-shaped-like-a-swan clumps of "I don't want to eat this anymore" to ferment in the rear of the refrigerator until poor Annie is forced to go in wearing Hazmat gear to coerce them out. And I may have discovered why...

Growing up in Chicago - where barbequing is referred to as "cookin' out" - my mother would try to squeeze summer's final bits of sunshine for all she could. So, religiously, every year, on one of the final pleasant summery/autumn days, she'd drag out the Weber grill, fire up some coals, plunk the industrial-sized box of frozen hamburger patties (or, as we say in Chicago, "'amburger paddeez") on the picnic table and begin the afternoon long process of "cookin' out".

Her reasoning - God love her - was that in the dead, frozen solace of a Midwestern winter, myself, my sister, and she would be ecstatic to have a little taste of summer thrown our ways (the "clunk" of a froze patty hitting a plate seconds before a microwave oven's whirring begins to this day haunts me. I can't even watch a hockey puck being dropped on the ice). What you instead win up with is a charcoal flavored rubber disk covered in ketchup and cheese with a side of chips.

Ahhhhh: SUMMER!

I appreciate the effort, I honestly do. It's actually a brilliant plan, if you don't consider the taste of the food you'll be consuming. I'm trying very hard to break this pattern, but it's a conscious as hell effort. Now I know how heroin addicts must feel...minus the withdrawal symptoms, alienation from friends and family, and track marks.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Yesterday morning, I volunteered to help with trail maintenance at Forest Park, my absolute favorite place to run here in Portland. I lent a hand for a variety of reasons, spanning from (have I mentioned that) I HAVE NO FULLTIME JOB, to wanting to give back to the park, to the fact that - for Hundred in The Hood - I have to put in 8 hours of trail work. I love this about ultra running. Many 100 mile races require at least a handful of hours helping to repair the trails we pound on day after day, mile upon mile.

The group was small and energetic, and, as I fell into a Zenlike state clipping, clipping, clipping, I realized I would walk away from that day with a sense of accomplishment I'd yet felt in, uh, years or so? Yeah, I suppose the day-in-day-out TV work was more a less a fantastic way to pay bills. Don't get me wrong: I met some of the most amazing people whom I consider my dearest friends and will for my entire life, and some of the experiences boggle my mind still, but that deep, down satisfaction of helping and healing yesterday really resonated. Particularly working on something so dear to my heart. Television isn't something I'd say I have ever held dear to my heart. Unless I wanted to hug an appliance and the fridge was busy.